How to grow peanut
HOW TO GROW PEANUT: An overview of groundnut production
The peanut, also known as the groundnut, goober, or monkey nut (UK), and taxonomically classified as (Arachis hypogaea). Is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, being important to both small and large commercial producers. It is classified as both a grain, legume, and oil crop because of its high oil content. And that is why the World annual production of shelled peanuts was 44 million tonnes in 2016, led by China with 38% of the world total. A typical among crop plants, peanut pods develop underground rather than above the ground. It is this characteristic that the botanist Linnaeus used to assign the specific name hypogaea, which means “under the earth.”
However, As a legume, the peanut belongs to the botanical family Fabaceae; this is also known as Leguminosae, and commonly known as the bean, or pea, family. Like most other legumes, peanuts harbor symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in root nodules. So This capacity to fix nitrogen means peanuts require less nitrogen-containing fertilizer and also improve soil fertility, making them valuable in crop rotations. And
Peanuts are similar in taste and nutritional profile to tree nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, and as a culinary nut are often served in similar ways in Western cuisines. Read also: how to grow a crop in general.
Definition of nut
The botanical definition of a “nut” is a fruit whose ovary wall becomes hard at maturity. Using this criterion, the peanut is not a typical nut. However, for culinary purposes and in common English language usage, peanuts are usually referred to as nuts.
It is called Groundnut in many place around the world and Nigeria is among the African country with substantial production. However the export of groundnut and its production in Nigeria has gone down considerably in the last few decades. This has been attributed to the drought of followed by the devasting rosette diseases, and the neglect of agriculture with the emergence of crude oil in the country.
Hitherto, groundnut was a major export earner for Nigeria before becoming and importer particularly in the form of oil. Presently groundnut are either harvested (for the kernel) or used as livestock feed, most of groundnut are processed as oil and meal. However some are used in making butter and confections a substantial quality is roasted, boiled or salted
For a successful growth of groundnut choose location with favorable climatic condition, such as moderate rainfall during the growing season, an abundance of sunshine and relatively high temperature.
The highest yields of the best quality groundnut are secured on well grained, light sandy loam soil.
Types of groundnut
In Nigeria there are two main growth forms: bunch and runner. Bunch types grow upright, while runners types grow near the ground. Both local and improved varieties are available but for high pod and oil yield the improved varieties are preferred.
Groundnut require a loose soil into which the pegs easily penetrate and which excessive loss of pods during harvesting. Thus, to achieve this soil should be thoroughly and completely prepared to a depth of 25-30cm before sowing.
To prepare the soil, clear and burn or incorporate residue and volunteers of the previous crop.
1. Dump farm yard manure immediately after land clearing.
2. Spread out the manure in the old furrows with the onset of rains.
3. As soon as the rain establishes, plough and harrow the land and make ridges 75cm a part (inter-row)
Groundnut suffered from seed borne disease. And to control this groundnut seeds must be treated with appropriate chemicals. Therefore, Seeds for sowing should be well filled, uniform in size and color. And not moldy or cracked. Dress all seeds with seed dressing chemicals such as apron plus, or apron star before sowing. Use the sachet of apron plus to 2kg of ground nut seed.
PLANTING DATE, TIME AND METHODS
A seed rate of 40-44kg of kernel is required per hectare. One of the most critical factors limiting the yield of groundnut in Africa is low plant population densities (20,000-25,000 plants/ha) In Nigeria the recommended spacing is 75×25cm or 90×20cm at 1-2 plant/hole.
Groundnut thrive well under good soil condition. It requires loamy or sandy/loam soil. It is recommended to apply 5-10 tons of farm yard manure to improve soil nutrients, texture and structure.
Groundnut like other legumes can fix atmospheric nitrogen and therefore N-fertilization is rarely required. A proper balance of N&P is essential for early maturity. However if the preceding crop before groundnut was well fertilized there will be no need to apply N, P or K. And If the preceding crop was not well fertilized and the groundnut is growing sole then use 20kgN, 54kg p2o5 and 2okg k2o per hectare. Use 2 bags NPK 5:15:15 and 2 bags of SSP at planting time per ha.
The use of fertilizer blended with calcium and boron is beneficial.
Groundnut requires relatively less water compare to maize and rice
It requires an annual rainfall of 500-600mm.
Weed can be serious problem to groundnut in 3 different ways Through competition, By interfering with the harvest, By harboring insect pest and diseases. Hoe wedding should be done at 3 and 6 weeks after sowing to control annual weeds. Third weeding could be combine with earthen up. Weed can also be controlled with herbicides pre-sowing, pre emergence or post emergence. Terbutryn and metalachor are most effective herbicides for controlling weeds in groundnut (0.8kg/ha) terbutryn and (1.6kg/ha) metalachor, pre emergence (IMTM in 10 liter knapsack sprayer.
Harvest on time so that a maximum yield of manure pods could be obtained. The right time to harvest the crop is recognized by a slight yellowing of the foliage and by an examination of the pods. If the insides of the shell has begun to colour brown and show darkened vein the crop is ready for harvest. Harvesting too early cause shriveling of a large proportion of the kernels. And Immature pods loss about 50% of their weight during curing and they developed undesirable flavours. The plant are lifted either manually or mechanically. And lastly the plant may be pulled by hand in soft soil and with a hoe or a fork in hard and dry soil.
TO know about method and Agricultural procedures read also: Concept of Agriculture or visit www.wikipedia/Agriculture